Biriyani .. even the word sounds so exotic right. There are tons of ways to make this wonderful dish and for the most part I take the short cut and do it all in the pressure cooker as a one pot meal. But when I came across this recipe from Vahrehvah I decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed and it was an instant hit in the family. I love the layers in this and I feel there is something exotic about it. I have kept it healthy by using less oil and no ghee. I am sure adding ghee will take it to another level. We will be keeping the layered rice and vegetables in the oven finally and it is good to use an oven safe vessel. No oven .. no worries. I have mentioned the alternate method in tips section.
2 tbsp oil
Whole spices – clove, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
Vegetables – Carrots, potato, cauliflower
3 green chillies
1.5 tbsp store bought biriyani masala
1/2 bunch mint leaves
1/2 bunch coriander leaves
1 cup fat free yogurt
Nuts – cashew and almonds
1.5 cups basmati rice soaked for 1/2 hour
Salt to taste
The vegetables need to be chopped into big chunks as you can see in the picture. First heat oil, add the whole spices followed by ginger and garlic paste. Then add the vegetables and green chillies.
Next add half of the mint and coriander leaves followed by biriyani masala. Then add 1/2 cup of yogurt. Next add the paneer and salt.
Mix and let the vegetables cook.
Meanwhile let us get the rice going. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add cumin followed by the rice. Cook until 70% done since we do not want the grains to become mushy.
By now the vegetables are done. Separate the vegetables into 2 portions. To one portion add the remaining yogurt and nuts. Mix. Turn off the stove after few minutes.
Lets start layering. To the vegetable mixture in the vessel add half of the cooked rice. Flatten it. Then add the remaining vegetables which we set aside. Now add the remaining rice. Flatten it. Then add the remaining mint and coriander leaves. (Basically it is veg-rice-veg-rice-mint coriander)
Soak saffron in a little milk and add it over the rice.
Place in a 350F preheated oven for 30 minutes. This is how it looks when taken out of the oven. The second picture shows the layers.
Exotic, colorful and yummy vegetable biriyani ready. Serve with any raita. We had it with okra raita.
1. This can also be done on the stove top. To avoid burning use a big vessel with water and place the vessel with rice inside it.
2. After adding nuts fried onions can also be added.
3. The heat in this dish is only from the green chillies and biriyani masala. Do not add too much of the masala powder as it is overpowering.
4. I have not used turmeric but we can use it to give more color.